Board Report: October 2015

Hi Everyone,

On behalf of the newly constituted SLSNZ Board, I am pleased to be able to provide this update.  First up are some notes from the Annual General Meeting in September:

  • We had a very good attendance on the day and a significant increase in clubs voting by proxy and electronically.  My thanks to all the clubs who did attend and participate in the democratic process, to our President Neale Ames for chairing the meeting and Napier McFedries as Returning Officer and Brian Velvin and Denis Cooksley as his very able Scrutineers. 
  • In terms of the election results, myself and Brent Warner was re-elected for further two year terms on the Board and Neale Ames was re-elected for another two year term as President.  Congratulations to Neale and Brent - it is a pleasure working with you both, and overall with the re-appointment of Joe Pope and Graham Crombie it is good to be able to maintain a stable Board to keep the same focus and momentum in the coming year.
  • The full Board is therefore myself (Geoff Hamilton), Brent Warner, Colin Weatherall, Joe Pope, Trevor Taylor, Graham Crombie, Todd Cations-Velvin and Rick Stolwerk. 
  • The meeting approved the Annual Report and the 2014/15 Financial Statements.  Both are available on the SLSNZ website if you wish to see them.
  • The meeting also approved the proposed Honoraria for the Board for the coming year.  There was no change from last year.
  • There were a number of minor changes to the Constitution approved at the meeting, most of them just tidying up the wording, but a few are worth noting:
  • The term of office of Board members will be extended from two years to three years, to allow better continuity and stability at a governance level.  This will apply from the 2016 AGM and will take a few years to fully implement.  All the current Board members (including those appointed or elected as the 2015 AGM) are still on two year terms.
  • From 2016 the SLSNZ Auditor will be appointed at the AGM on the recommendation of the Board, rather than by the Board directly.  This just adds further transparency to the audit process and came from a recommendation from the SLSNZ's own Audit and Risk Committee.
  • Anti-match fixing:  A new Regulation was passed as required by Sport NZ to combat the risk of anti-match fixing.  While not a high risk in surf life saving it is in other sports and Sport NZ want the entire NZ sport sector to be able to minimise the opportunity for this to occur.  There will be a bit more publicity of this in the future to let all those who need to know this regulation exists that it is now in place.
  • On the morning of the AGM, a strategy workshop for club Chairs was held.  This was again a very worthwhile event and discussed some key topics including Health & Safety, a Strategic Plan for the surf life saving movement and the priorities for SLSNZ in 2016/17.  The outputs from this are also attached.
  • The Awards of Excellence dinner held at the Amora Hotel in Wellington was again a great night.  Again hosted by Sky TV presenter Stephen McIvor, it was great to see so many people honoured for their years of commitment.  Congratulations to all the award winners.
  • A draft set of AGM Minutes is attached.  These were reviewed at the October Board meeting and will be formally approved at next year's AGM.

The October Board meeting was held in Wellington on Sunday 18th October. As this was the first meeting of the new Board we had to review the positions within the Board itself.   The end result of those discussions was more stability, with the current roles staying the same, specifically re-appointing myself (Geoff Hamilton) as Chairman and Brent Warner as the Deputy Chairman for the next 12 months.  The following Board subcommittees were also re-appointed:

  • Audit & Risk:                 Chair - Graham Crombie with Todd Cations- Velvin, and Geoff Hamilton as a regular attendee.
  • Governance:                  Chair Geoff Hamilton with Colin Weatherall and Trevor Taylor.

In addition the following Board members were confirmed as ex-officio liaison members of the NLC and NSC:

  • National Lifesaving Committee - Rick Stolwerk.
  • National Sport Committee - Colin Weatherall.

In a related note, at the Water Safety NZ AGM on the 22nd September, Brent Warner was re-elected as the SLSNZ 'Core Member' on the WSNZ Board and also has taken on the role of WSNZ Deputy Chair.  As such, Brent is the Board-level link between the two organisations.  My thanks go to Brent for taking on this role as it is a very significant commitment of time and energy.

From a financial perspective the results for the 3 months to 30th September were a Net Operating Surplus of $0.693 million against a budget of $0.783 million, a shortfall of $90,500.  This is mainly due to some of the stretch revenue targets not being achieved, and will continue to be a pressure point as the budget is set to aggressively continue to rebuild reserves.  With much higher depreciation expenses this year (over $450,000) as we depreciate the new PAM system the Net Operating Surplus result is budgeted to be lower than last year, but fortunately this cash still stays in the business.

The Year-end Forecast for the Net Operating Surplus is $217,000, which is $133,000 behind budget, and will continue to be under pressure as the year goes on.  See the attached normal monthly report for details.

In terms of other items of note from the meeting:

  • The SLSNZ Foundation.  A bit more work is still required on the Trust Deed but this should be completed by the end of the year.
  • Replacing State Insurance.  No new sponsors have been signed up yet but this continues a top priority for the year. 
  • The Board was updated on the outcomes from the latest National Sport Lifesaving Committees.

So that's it from me - it has been a busy few months!   The next Board meeting will be held in Wellington on Sunday 13th December.  So until my next update……

Yours in surf,

Geoff Hamilton
Surf Life Saving New Zealand